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What Is the Meaning of Flak Happy in Masters of the Air?


Flak Happy meaning: Masters of the Air
Credit: Playtone | Amblin Television | Apple Studios

Masters of the Air gives us a glimpse of the pilots who fought during WWII and the struggles they went through. Apart from their stories, the Apple TV+ show also introduces us to new things. What is the meaning of flak happy in Masters of the Air? Let's get to know this terminology.

Spoiler Warning: This article includes spoilers for Masters of the Air episode 4, so proceed with caution.

Which Episode Do They Talk About Being Flak Happy in Masters of the Air?

Flak Happy meaning: Austin Butler as Major Gale "Buck" Cleven in Masters of the Air
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Credit: Playtone | Amblin Television | Apple Studios

In Masters of the Air episode 4, we follow Sgt. Quinn (played by Kai Alexander) and Sgt. Bailey (played by Bailey Brook) gets help from the Belgian resistance to escape the country. The episode also gives viewers some sort of victory as they achieve a milestone.

It was the first time one of the men from the 100th Bomb Group completed 25 missions without being shot down. As a result of this, Lt. Glenn W. Dye (played by George Webster) gets to go home and go on tour.

Despite this accomplishment, they remember the many others who were unsuccessful. Major Harding (played by James Murray) then asks his men if they were "flak happy." The men replied that they weren't.

Having drunk several bottles, Major Harding goes on to daydream about bombing Hitler's compound just so the war can be over.

Major Bucky Egan (played by Callum Turner) then asks him: "Now who's flak happy?"

While this statement causes a brief tension between the two, Harding shortly laughs it off. This makes us wonder what is flak happy's meaning during those times.

RELATED: Who Is George Webster, Who Plays Lt. Dye in Masters of the Air?

What is Flak Happy Meaning According to Masters of the Air?

Flak Happy meaning: 100th Bomb Group
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Credit: Playtone | Amblin Television | Apple Studios

As it turns out, the term 'flak happy' was not just used in the show, Masters of the Air. The term was used to refer to pilots or crew members suffering from PTSD after several flying missions.

If a pilot or crew member is found to be flak-happy, he will immediately be taken off the flight status. They can easily tell their commander that they are unable to handle the mission.

Although it was something that happened quite a lot, it was still looked down on, especially for men fighting in the war. Even if they had an option to approach their commander and tell them how they felt, they rarely used it.

How Did Flyboys Cope With Flak Happy?

Flak Happy meaning
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Credit: Playtone | Amblin Television | Apple Studios

According to a post on Quora, the flyboys were got to land in England where they could decompress until their next mission. They also had a total of 25 missions before they could go back home.

Finally, these men had a good future to look forward to. After the war, they went home with a good paycheck and still had an option to be employed. They also received an Air Medal for their combat service.

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